In the epic words of Happy Gilmore, it’s about time. Time Warner and News Corp. finally reached an agreement on a new contract, allowing all Fox broadcasts to continue to air as if there was nothing wrong. The standoff is finally over, one that raged for a while and had huge ramifications for the television industry. And it’s not like the blackouts were going to be affect cities like Nowhereville and Middletown…it threatened New York, LA, and Dallas.
The two sides are pleased with their new agreement after months of negotiation. The terms of the contract, unfortunately, is still under wraps which makes it difficult for us to really get a good picture of what went down. What we do know is that News Corp was asking for $1 a month per subscriber while Time Warner’s estimated value was at around forty cents. Whatever the final share price is, it is sure to be big since it is per month and per subscriber. News Corp will make a killing off this. In fact, their executives are probably throwing a huge AIG-like party.
I had an inkling that it an agreement would be reached within these last few days. Both parties stand too much to lose when it came to the BCS and NFL playoff games that were approaching. The deal was announced about an hour before the start of college football’s Sugar Bowl, which of course aired conveniently on Fox.
While this war has ended, another still remains. Cablevision Systems customers are without Food Network and HGTV due to a dispute with Scripps Networks Interactive. The same dispute with subscriber fees looms here as well. But then again, these are two networks that, shall we say, might not have a huge market share in the television business. I know that people like watching shows on those stations and if I was a fan, I’d be angry as well. But as for major syndication, at least Fox can still be watched on your television.
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